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posted on 18 March 2017

Early Headlines: Student Loan Defaults, Paying For Trump's Wall, Trump Knows His Voters Lose With Trumpcare, Europe's Energy Revolution, Mexicans To Canada And More

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Early Bird Headlines 18 March 2017

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.

early-bird-301-180

U.S.

  • Trump administration rescinds Obama guidance on student loan defaults: report (The Hill) The Trump administration on Thursday rolled back Obama-era guidance that forbade student loan debt collectors from charging high fees to defaulted borrowers, The Washington Post reported. In a “Dear Colleague" letter, the administration tells agencies that collect on defaulted loan debt to disregard guidance prohibiting them from charging borrowers who default on their payments fees of as much as 16 percent of the loan’s principal and accrued interest. It also says that the initial guidance handed down by the Obama administration in 2015 should have been subjected to public comment before it was issued.

  • Student loan defaults are rising faster than you think (The Washington Post) A new analysis of federal student loans reveals that the number of people severely behind on repaying their debt has soared in the past year, painting a bleak picture of one of the largest government programs. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released a study Tuesday that found that millions of people had not made a payment on $137 billion in federal student loans for at least nine months in 2016, a 14% increase in defaults from a year earlier.

  • It’s Official: You’re Paying for Trump’s Wall, Twice (Foundation for Economic Education) he Trump budget blueprint, released late Wednesday, calls for taxpayers to fund $4.1 billion through 2018 for Trump’s wall along the southern border of the United States. But that’s just for the initial construction. According to DHS estimates, the overall cost to taxpayers could be $21.6 billion, a figure that will likely be even higher considering the government’s penchant for going over budget and deadlines. Continuing:

Because Mexico has made it abundantly clear that it will not pay for America’s “great" wall, Trump has floated the idea of slapping a 20 percent tariff on all goods imported from Mexico to make up for the cost. This idea may sound legitimate if you disregard the laws of economics, but the reality is that Americans will wind up paying for the tariffs through higher food and consumer prices.

n response to the proposed tariffs, Mexico stated it would return tariffs - or border taxes - on U.S. goods going into Mexico, which would hurt American businesses and workers. So basically, you’ll be paying for the wall twice, or possibly three times if you are employed or own a business that relies on exports to Mexico.

  • Trump when told the biggest losers under 'Trumpcare' would be his own voters: 'Oh, I know' (Business Insider) President Donald Trump nodded in agreement during a Wednesday interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson when told the American Health Care Act, the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, would cause the most damage to people who voted for him in November. During the interview, Carlson mentioned an analysis by Bloomberg that showed that counties that voted more heavily for Trump in the election would see their tax credits to purchase insurance fall dramatically and likely see the number of people without insurance increase. Trump responded:

"Oh, I know. I know. It's very preliminary, Tucker."

Click for large image.

  • Here are the biggest winners and losers from 'Trumpcare' (Business Insider) Because of differences in the tax-credit structure under the AHCA, older and poorer people would receive less assistance to gain access to care, according to analysis done by nonpartisan groups. Additionally, not every state would benefit in the same way. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-policy think tank, broke down the AHCA's tax-credit structure compared with the Affordable Care Act's.

Click for large image.

EU

  • Europe's renewable energy revolution (The Guardian) Norway is building the longest undersea power cable (450 km, 300 miles) to the UK. When finished Norway can ship up to 1,400 megawatts of electricity to the UK (power for more than 750,000 homes) and Britain can ship excess wind power back to Norway. Similar projects will enable wind power producers in northern Europe to trade electricity with solar producers in southern Europe.

Yemen

A total of 6.8 million people are deemed to be in a state of emergency - one step from famine on the five-point integrated food security phase classification (IPC), the standard international measure - with a further 10.2 million in crisis. The numbers reflect a 21% increase in hunger levels in the Arab world’s poorest state since June 2016.

China

  • Donald Trump anti-China tweet gives Rex Tillerson a fresh wall to climb (The Guardian) Donald Trump took his latest online swipe at China’s leaders as his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, flew into Beijing to finalise plans for a high-stakes summit designed to soothe tensions after months of bad blood and uncertainty. Trump is expected to host Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach on 6-7 April for an informal “no necktie" encounter similar to the 2013 Sunnylands summit between Barack Obama and the Communist party chief. Tillerson arrived in China’s capital on Saturday tasked with making final preparations for that presidential tête-à-tête. He will reportedly meet senior leaders, including Xi. Meanwhile the president continued "hectoring" China via Twitter:

Canada

  • Exclusive: Canadian border authorities detaining record number of Mexicans (Reuters) Canada's border authorities detained more Mexicans in the first 67 days of 2017 than they did annually in any of the three previous years, according to statistics obtained by Reuters. The spike comes immediately after Canada's federal government lifted its visa requirement for Mexican citizens in December.

Many Mexicans looking north have shifted their focus from the United States to Canada as President Donald Trump vows to crack down on America's undocumented immigrants, about half of whom are Mexican. On Friday, Reuters reported, immigration judges were reassigned to 12 U.S. cities to speed up deportation.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said it detained 444 Mexican nationals between Jan. 1 and March 8, compared with 410 for all of 2016, 351 for 2015, and 399 for 2014.

The CBSA can detain foreign nationals if it is believed they pose a danger to the public, if their identity is unclear or if they are deemed unlikely to appear for removal or for a proceeding.

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